Sunday, November 21, 2021

Eyelash Threads: A Review

Both Rainbow Gallery and Treenway Silks have new eyelash threads available.  Thanks to a friend, I have a sample of each to review.    You can see them above.  Treenway Silks' Eyelash color #0 Natural White is on the left side.  It is more cream than white in color and comes in a 10 yard skein.  It has a polyamide core and Chinese silk "lashes" which are roughly a quarter inch long.  Rainbow Eyelash color RE02 White is on the right.  It is a very white thread, and comes 8 yards on a card.  It is 100% polyamide with lashes nearly an inch long.  

When you find the end (not easy for either thread!) and lay it out to look at the thread, Treenway's Eyelash (bottom) is about the dimension of one ply from a skein of DMC six ply cotton floss, which is in the photo for comparison purposes.  Rainbow Eyelash is slightly thicker, perhaps 2 plies' thicknesses when compared to the cotton floss.  The Rainbow Eyelash feels silkier although it is all synthetic and the Treenway Eyelash seems thicker because its fatter "lashes" are packed a little closer together on the core thread.

So how do they stitch up?  

This is Rainbow Gallery's (left) and Treenway's (right) eyelash threads stitched on a sample bit of 18 count colored canvas.   I did interlocking Gobelin stitches in the top row, then did upright satin stitches and diagonal mosaic in the second row, followed by stem stitches in the bottom row.  They don't look like much unbrushed.  The core threads are sturdy and I didn't have any shedding from either thread.  I used a size 18 tapestry needle but could have used a size 20, although I think size 20 is the smallest eye good for stitching with these threads.  My opinion is that fancy stitches are not a good idea with either brand since the fuzz hides all the stitch texture.  Simple is best when stitching with either of these eyelash-type threads.

I decided the best comparison would be an actual design so I roughly drew two mittens on my colored canvas (No laughing at my artwork!  We aren't perfect here.) and stitched the top of each mitten in knit stitch using two plies of Gloriana's Lorikeet, which is a wool thread.  I then added fake fur at the bottom of each mitten with the Rainbow Eyelash on the left and the Treenway Eyelash on the right using simple satin stitches on the diagonal.  Again, it doesn't look like much unbrushed, but I wanted you to get a good look at what you'll see when stitching with this stuff.  By the way, I used one strand of each thread in my size 18 tapestry needle.  So what does it look like fluffed?

Here you go!  The Rainbow Eyelash is the long lush white fluff on the left; Treenway Eyelash is the shorter, creamier, rougher look on the right.  Make sure you match the right shades of white if you are doing a Santa using the Treenway Eyelash.  If you use the Treenway (right side above) for a Santa's eyebrows and then choose a stark white for Santa's fur cap, the Treenway will look dirty next to a stark white.  You can see how the two colors don't play well together in the above photo.

Fluffing with just your needle or finger isn't enough in my opinion. You have to use a brush of some sort to see the full effect.  I used my Judy's Boo-boo stick (a new toothbrush will work just fine) and brushed  down toward the bottom of the photo fairly hard around 10-12 times. I stopped when it looked the way I wanted. The fluff disarranges itself easily so if you are doing something that will be handled a lot you'll need to rebrush into the look you want periodically.  Some of the Rainbow Eyelash fluff came off on my boo-boo stick, too. Neither thread sheds if you only use about an 18 inch length to stitch an area only an inch long and half an inch high, but if it is brushed hard some of the fluff comes away.

Both threads are easy to work with. I used a size 18 needle but I probably could have used a 20. The eyelash threads go through the eye of the needle well. The cores are both solid.  I like both threads. They are great for fur and hair and beards.  It's possible you might want to trim the Rainbow Eyelash some but trim as if it is turkey work, only a little bit at a time.

In conclusion, these are both great threads.  The one you buy depends on the final look you want and the color you want.  Treenway Eyelash can be purchased from the company's website.  It is available in 13 colors, mostly neutrals plus orange, red, lime and purple.

Rainbow Eyelash is available from many needlepoint stores.  It comes in 18 colors, half neutrals but also two shades of pink, baby blue, red, dark amethyst and lime.

Gary has a brief review of Rainbow Eyelash on his Fiber Talk show, starting at time marker 16.23.  He and Vonna show it on cross stitch and needlepoint fabrics and talk about how it compares to Wisper and Angora.

Kudos to both thread companies for providing us so many great things to use on our projects.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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